29 Nov 2021

Kilkenny designer is a finalist in top corset competition

Kilkenny designer is a finalist in top corset competition

A renowned Kilkenny designer is hoping to wow the judges with her exquisite corset creation in a prestigious competition.
Mary McGuinness is a finalist in the Foundations Revealed corset competition. Foundations Revealed is a global online community of corset and costume makers where novice and experienced corsetieres can avail of online tutorials and live streamed workshops.
Each year there is a corset competition inviting entries from all over the world, this year the theme was ‘Architecture’. The current entries are available to view on Foundations Revealed website and also competition entries that go back to 2014.
Mary has a passion for fabric and how it can be used to create beautiful garments that are simply stunning.
“I have always been interested in fabric and how it wraps around the body to form a garment. The collection of dolls in my childhood home were well dressed every Christmas from fabric remnants of Mrs Donaldson, a seamstress from St Francis Terrace. It was always such an exciting trip to Mrs Donaldson’s for the bag of treasure.
“ My explorations of garments continued at evening pattern cutting classes and eventually at London College of Fashion and Central St Martins London. I gained experience in the fashion industry working with Jacque Azagury Knightsbridge (who dressed Princess Diana), French Connection, Nicole Farhi and Marks & Spencer.
“In recent years I had my own design studio at Castle Yard Kilkenny, where I offered a bespoke service to select clients. I love corsetry and developing my understanding of the body in relation to containment and structure. This has lead me to the worldwide community of excellent corsetieres and I am fortunate to have presented my work in this competition,” said Mary.
“The theme this year was ‘Architecture’ and my entry for Foundations Revealed corset competition 2019 is influenced by an anonymous image of the underneath of a spiral staircase in an abandoned French castle. I am very taken with the texture of the blue and gold peeling paint contrasted with the fragility of the spiralling filigree balustrade.
“My desire is to recreate the lost lustre and show the former opulence of this grand spiral staircase. However it is the dystopian beauty of the distressed state of the underneath that has caught my attention. I am aiming for a visual balance of structure and distressed texture in my corset. Taking the theme of architecture literally, my aim in my project is to underpin the surface aesthetic with a strong foundation and build from support tensions.”
Last Friday in a live broadcast Mary McGuinness’s Spirales d’Or Bleu design was announced as a finalist in the advanced category. The winner will be announced live this Friday through Foundations Revealed on Facebook and Instagram.

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